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Penguins Report: Tampa Bay Practice

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Zbynek Michalek had a full practice Sunday (11:46 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma chats about injuries, Asham and Letestu (3:43 PM).
  • Quick notes on Bylsma’s insight (1:29 PM).
  • Practice pics (12:15 PM).
  • Schedule quark for Pens (11:58 AM).
  • Late flight for Pens and upcoming schedule (11:31 AM).
Happy Sunday everyone. Here we go Steelers!!!


3:43 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

On getting injured players back
We’re getting close to getting some healthy guys back. That’s a good thing.

On the hectic schedule
I personally as a coach like playing a lot of games early in the season. We did have a lot of games every other night and not a ton of practice time. Now we’re getting to a point where it feels like more of a normal schedule.

On if Asham will play Wednesday and where:
That’s a possibility. Ash is a guy who can play up and down the lineup and probably will do that. We’re certainly going to use him in different spots.

On Letestu playing wing:
Right now Mark Letestu has done a great job at center. The flexibility of him playing on the wing, if he can be an offensive player and an offensive threat in that regard, then you may look to get him in a wing position when Jordan (Staal) comes back. But if he keeps playing center the way he is now, he may make a bid for a third-line center position and solidify that. We’ll see how that plays out. There’s a chance he’ll stay in the top-6 when Jordan comes back.

On if Letestu can float up and down the lineup:
Sometimes in the game he’s been a good right-shot draw for us too. If he plays wing he can still play in that regard, as a second centerman, or as the main centerman to take the draw. Craig Adams takes draws there but Mark has shown that he can be good in that area. He could be used as a rover, a guy that goes out in the faceoff circle and stays out.


1:29 PM:
A few quick notes from Dan Bylsma's shared insight with the media:

12:15 PM:
Sunday at the Pete:

Coach Bylsma instructs his troops (left); Malkin and Comrie try to score on Fleury (right)

The greatest man of all time, Tony Granato (left)

11:58 AM:
There is an interesting scheduling quirk Saturday night/Sunday morning at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Lightning have a 6 p.m. game tonight against the Nashville Predators. The Predators played Saturday night in Dallas, a 1-0 win, and flew to Tampa Bay last night. Of couse, Pittsburgh also played last night in St. Louis and flew to Tampa.

The Penguins and Predators arrived at their hotels around the same time (Nashville was a few minutes behind Pittsburgh). And both teams setup crews had to get the locker rooms ready at the Pete.

So while the Predators unloaded their gear into the visitors locker room, the Penguins unloaded their gear into Tampa Bay's arena team locker room. The setup crews didn't finish the Pens room until 3:45 a.m. and had to wake up early to be at the rink before the coaches and team arrived Sunday.

Still want to work in the NHL? Yeah, me too.


11:46 AM:
Pens D-man Zbynek Michalek is going through a full practice in Tampa Bay. Michalek, who has been out with an upper-body injury, participated in a partial practice for the first time Saturday morning. It's a great sign that he is progressing.

This is the first time all year that the Pens have had their full complement of players at practice - even though they aren't all healthy enough to play.


11:31 AM:
Following the Pens' disappointing 1-0 overtime loss in St. Louis, the team hopped a flight for Tampa Bay, Florida. The team left at the conclusion of Saturday night's game. The two-hour flight, combined with the one hour change in time zone, meant the Pens didn't arrived at their hotel until 2:45 a.m. That's right, 2:45 a.m.

But the team is huddling around head coach Dan Bylsma as I type to start their 11:30 a.m. practice at the St. Pete Times Forum. Pittsburgh will practice this afternoon, have Monday off, practice on Tuesday, and face off against the Lightning on Wednesday.

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